The typical turn-round time for providing a date is circa 3-4 months, although, rapid dating (circa 4-6 weeks or sometimes less, depending on machine time and sample type) using our fast track service can be undertaken.
OSL dating results including Dose equivalent (De) estimate, dose rate measurement and calculated age will be reported as a short pdf document by email.
More detailed expert reporting according to specific client needs can be undertaken following prior agreement with the laboratory.
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We are also able to conduct sample collection outside of the UK if the client is willing to cover additional transport, accommodation and subsistence costs.
Postgraduate students registered for a degree course within a UK university which does not house a luminescence laboratory may be eligible to apply for an award through a joint scheme set up with the Quaternary Research Association (
Likewise, projects central to the Laboratory's research interests may be carried out at a reduced charge.
Luminescence dating is particularly appropriate when radiocarbon dating is not possible (either where no suitable material is available or for ages beyond the radiocarbon age limit) or for applications affected by radiocarbon plateau effects (e.g.
post 1700 AD, early Iron Age contexts, late glacial timescales) and when the relationship between the organic materials and the archaeological context is uncertain.
The particular advantage of luminescence dating is that the method provides a date for the archaeological artefact or deposit itself, rather than for organic material in assumed association.
In the case of OSL sediment dating, suitable material (sand or silt-sized grains of quartz and feldspar) is usually available ubiquitously throughout the site.
The age range for pottery and other ceramics covers the entire period in which these materials have been produced.
The typical range for burnt stone or sediment is from about 100 to 300,000 years.